Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper claims Donald Trump inquired on at least two occasions about secretly bombing illegal cartel drug labs in Mexico.
The accusation comes in an upcoming memoir of Esper’s, titled “A Sacred Oath,” and an excerpt reported by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.
Haberman reveals that the former President was keenly focused on the constant flow of drugs across the southern border from the drug cartels.
“They don’t have control of their own country,” Trump said according to Esper’s account.
The former Defense Secretary claims that Trump continued to explore the option over his objections.
Trump wanted to bomb the cartels and deploy the military to the border and the NYT is outraged
— ULTRA POSO 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) May 5, 2022
“We could just shoot some Patriot missiles and take out the labs, quietly,” Esper claims Trump articulated. “No one would know it was us.”
NEW: Mark Esper recounts Trump asking the stunned SecDef if the government could fire missiles into Mexico and then pretend it wasn’t the US who did it in his new memoir https://t.co/eINzwh4gI4
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 5, 2022
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Did Trump want to Bomb Mexico?
Mark Esper, in the book, claims he knew Trump was serious about wanting to bomb drug cartels in Mexico because he had a stern look on his face.
Elizabeth Neumann, who served in the Trump administration as a senior adviser and in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), also claims Trump was “dead serious.”
Yes, he was dead serious.
I’m grateful Esper received clearance to tell the public.
People think those of us that served and now warn of how dangerous he is exaggerate the incompetence and unlawfulness.
It’s incomprehensible how bad it was on a near hourly basis. https://t.co/nJMwkkDFLa
— Elizabeth Neumann 🙏 🇺🇦🌻 (@NeuSummits) May 6, 2022
MSNBC contributor Clint Watts had the typical media knee-jerk reaction, equating Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin based on the claims.
Because we’ve never heard that comparison before, Mr. Original.
Absolutely bonkers, and I imagine the former President was serious, and an unlawful order. That may be the most Putin type thing I’ve heard so far. https://t.co/Eb5XCmVYo3
— Clint Watts (@selectedwisdom) May 5, 2022
Trump’s son, Don Jr., wondered aloud what all the fuss was about, perhaps given the media’s support of bombing seemingly everywhere else on the planet, like Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Russia, etc…
I’m still trying to figure out the recent media outrage about my father possibly wanting to target Mexican drug cartel manufacturing facilities in Mexico… Is that supposed to be a bad thing???
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 6, 2022
Mark Esper’s Efforts to Undermine Trump
Esper, who served as secretary of Defense from 2019 to November 2020, also made accusations that President Trump had openly wondered about shooting protesters outside the White House.
“Can’t you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?” he recalled Trump allegedly saying in June of 2020.
🚨 SCOOP in @Axios AM: Former SecDef Mark Esper, fired by Trump, writes in “A Sacred Oath,” out 5/10, that a red-faced Trump said as demonstrators filled DC after George Floyd’s death:
“Can’t you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?” https://t.co/q7IoGOspqo
— Mike Allen (@mikeallen) May 2, 2022
Trump famously tweeted in May of 2020 that “thugs” burning buildings across multiple cities, vandalizing businesses, and robbing them, were “dishonoring the memory of George Floyd.”
“Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he added.
Trump: “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” pic.twitter.com/my6cSjxB98
— Notifications (@Renew2O22) April 30, 2022
Esper’s allegations need to be taken with a grain of salt, having established himself as an anti-Trumper willing to undermine the President of the United States to suit his ideological purposes.
Esper reportedly ordered a “backchannel” message to reassure China the United States would not be seeking military action in the days leading up to the 2020 presidential election.
Axios, in a 2021 report, noted the former Defense Secretary “directed his policy office to issue a backchannel message to the Chinese to reassure them the U.S. had no intention of seeking a military confrontation.”
New reporting from @jonathanvswan: Milley wasn’t the only one who feared China was consuming bad intel about the possibility of a surprise U.S. strike by Trump.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper ordered a back-channel message in October to reassure them. https://t.co/yL080jzoB4
— Zach Basu (@zacharybasu) September 15, 2021
CNN political analyst Josh Rogin indicated at the time that a senior defense official had claimed Esper’s actions led to General Mark Milley issuing a remarkable warning to China.
Milley indicated he was willing to warn China if the United States had planned a military strike.
“General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time,” Milley purportedly said. “It’s not going to be a surprise.”
Li is General Li Zuocheng, Milley’s rank counterpart in China.
Senior Defense Official confirms to me @axios reporting on Esper’s role in China calls.
“Milley was absolutely not going rogue. Esper took the initiative on this in October, Esper asked his own policy folks to backchannel the message. Milley’s message followed Esper’s.”
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) September 15, 2021
Trump, upon hearing of Milley’s actions, accused him of “treason.”
Esper was fired unceremoniously just days after the election via tweet.
“Mark Esper has been terminated,” Trump wrote. “I would like to thank him for his service.”